… Skipper hails Keemo Paul’s presence for final matchBy Clifton RossESSEQUIBO captain Anthony Adams, along with in-form opener Kevon Boodie, says the defending champions are well-poised heading into today’s 7th and final round, following a streak of dominance.The champions have so far won 5 from 6, taking the first four rounds with ease before losing to a strong Lower Corentyne side in round 5. The Essequibians, however, shrugged off that loss to inflict a massive 220-plus-run thrashing upon East Coast on Tuesday.With the dust settled, Essequibo, with 25 points, seem well on their way to retaining their title, thus making their possible victory a ‘two-peat’; having won the title last year. Lower Corentyne trail in number two spot with 20 points but could find it difficult to win should Essequibo win today.Guyana Chronicle Sport caught up with skipper Adams and the destructive Boodie on the eve of the final round. Adams, who has been effective with bat and ball throughout the tournament, pointed out that their impeccable run was a huge boost for their confidence, especially with the finals hours away.“It was big for the team (momentum) because the guys are looking to get into the national team; so making runs and getting wickets are important. “Winning five games is also big for us. We obviously want to win today and not leave anything to chance so we plan on winning the last match and retaining the title,” said a confident Adams.The team’s success could be attributed to their coach Ryan Hercules, who has been playing a big role in the development of the squad; more so, the on-field representation by Boodie, leading run-scorer Kemol Savory and Joshua Jones who has a 5-for and MVP award. Ronsford Beaton kicked things off with his 5-wicket haul. All-rounder Ricardo Adams bagged 8 wickets in round 6 and has been a steady contributor with the bat, among other factors.With a half-century and wickets at a consistent pace under his belt, Adams, regarding himself and the holistic performance of the side, said “The energy has been excellent, you have to lead from front with bat as captain but all the senior men were leading. Young players like Quintin Sampson, Akinie Adams, Joshua Jones and so would have fed off the senior players and how they led by example,” he explained.After making almost 300 runs in round 6, Essequibo then steamrolled East Coast for 59, gaining momentum ahead of today’s bout and Adams believed that the win was just what they needed to get them ready for the final round.“Yesterday’s game was a big boost, we had a team goal batting first and we achieved that and we want to do that if we bat first today. We haven’t chased so far in the tournament but I’m confident that the batters can do so. The addition of Keemo Paul is also a big plus,” says Adams.Meanwhile, the pugnacious opener Boodie, a man of brief words said that he was happy with his form and how his team have been playing, adding that he would like to see the champs go out today and execute their team goals.“It’s been a good tournament for me so far. It wasn’t good at the start but I began to get runs in the later part of the tournament. I’ve been working on rotating the strike more and running more, so that helped me a lot, because getting runs in the last game was good. I just want to score in the last match so I can stake a claim for national selection,” said BoodieMeanwhile, the final round bowls off from 09:30hrs today with the defending champions taking on East Bank at the Everest ground; Georgetown versus East Coast at Lusignan; Lower Corentyne clashing with Upper Corentyne at Young Warriors ground and West Berbice battling West Demerara at the Tuschen ground.